What College Coaches Look for in a Kicker

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Kickers start the recruiting process with a strike against them. Many football coaches don’t like to put kickers on scholarship, since NCAA rules limit the number of such grants that can be offered and coaches may want to use their allotment elsewhere. College coaches may ask a punter or placekicker to walk-on as opposed to receiving an athletic scholarship, at least at first.

Camps and Coaching

  • Leg strength is critical for those hoping to kick in college, but kickers face a disadvantage in that they may find their opportunities for game action limited. That’s why camps are so critical. These showcases not only provide instruction, and a chance to perform with other top kickers, but influence the rankings of top prospects. Those rankings influence who coaches target, and a higher-ranked kicker will find more opportunities than one who skips camps entirely. Kicking coaches also can help refine technique and allow prospects to stand out. Camps and coaching add the polish that lets college coaches know they’re getting someone ready to perform at the next level.

Under Pressure

  • Film won’t tell coaches what they really want to know about a kicker -- how well he performs under pressure. Kickers in high school don’t always get the chance to boot a long game-winning field goal, but if they do, it doesn’t hurt to let coaches know about it. Finally, coaches look for someone who’s proven they can handle the schoolwork -- the competition for roster spots is so fierce that someone who’s an academic risk likely won’t make the cut.

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